“I Can’t Hold Back”


Bad 80s music video alert!!!!!  Avert your eyes if you are sensitive to big hair, leather pants, and high heels with blue jeans.

This video is seriously cheesetastic!  I love how she seems to become possessed by a vision of transforming herself into the seductive vixen that snags the hot lead singer.  I also love how even the other women in the video are totally checking her out.  (These days, that would get the band scolded by some anti-gay rights group for “indoctrinating” young people into a “sinful” lifestyle.)  Those of you who are fans of the Rocky franchise will remember Survivor as the blue collar-ish band behind the monster hit “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky III (they also recorded “Burning Heart” for Rocky IV).  After original lead singer Dave Bickler had to leave the group, pretty boy Jimi Jamison took over the vocal duties, and Survivor was transformed into an arena-style ballad band.  1984’s Vital Signs spawned several Top Forty singles, including this song.

I’ll be honest: I totally love this song.  It’s not my favorite on the album (that would be “High on You”, but the video isn’t quite as awesomely bad).  There’s nothing to it, of course.  It’s about as substantive as marshmallow fluff, and almost as emotionally deep (if you’d had the fudge you can make with this stuff, you’d probably have the deep, abiding love I have for it, too).  Is it bombastic? Sure.  Is it clichéd and goofy?  You betcha.  But it’s got a massive hook that seemed to be made of whatever it was that attracted 80s teenage girls like flies to a dumpster–probably some mutant combination of Aqua Net, Love’s Baby Soft, and hormones.  It certainly hooked me.  I just never outgrew it.  It hasn’t aged especially well, but it retains a certain charm.  I revel in the tacky lyrics and heavy synths.  It feeds that spot in my soul that still likes the scent of Love’s Baby Soft and eats fudge while watching Lifetime movies and crying over the romantic endings.

Okay, only some of that is true.  I hate Lifetime movies.

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